dan mosheim, dorset, VT, US

Full time professional furniture designer/maker since 1980. Currently employ 4 furnituremakers and one metalworker creating custom furniture for homes and offices nationwide ...

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is digital manufacturing a friend or a foe?

A friend sent me a link yesterday to a blog post on the FWW website asking the question: "Is technology killing the craft of furniture?" Judging from the 35 comments there in the last two days, it...

Live Edge Tables

a post about our live edge tables

under the dome

not really a 'fine' woodworking project, but a challenging and complex project nonetheless

a george the third style dining table

set ups for fabrication of a george the third style table

a double pedestal oval dining table

an oval walnut dining table based on a previous piece we built a few years back

the spaces we make

thoughts on furniture design as it relates to interior design and spaces in general

a dozen case pieces

pictures of some case pieces we have built over the past 20 years or so

a custom pool table from reclaimed lumber

how to build a pool table

some sideboards

photos of 12 different sideboards we have made over the past 25 years

a custom steel and wood pool table

pictures of a custom pool table

a custom curly maple kitchen

a brief history of recent kitchen project

building a custom pool table

photos, links and comments on the custom pool table process

one really wide slab of claro walnut

              this piece of claro walnut came from goodhope hardwoods, in pennsylvanie … when it arrived here in dorset, it was too wide to fit in my truck and we had to build a...


some projects we completed in may and june

a custom kitchen island

photos a recent kitchen island project, start to finish

a hanging chestnut porch swing

photos of a recently completed hanging porch swing

another dining table with self storing leaves

a reclaimed chestnut dining table with pull out leaves a la tage frid

'take an object; do something to it; do something else to it'

a bunch of slightly different objects made from the same raw material

what we do when they leave us alone

photos of a solo show at the southern vermont arts center, manchester, vermont

a custom cherry trestle table

a stained cherry trestle table

some custom cherry dining room furniture

an expanding dining table, 8 chairs and a corner cupboard.

A Joinery Puzzle

an interesting joinery challenge

veneer bag storage

hanging a veneer bag from the ceiling and raising and lowering it with an electric hoist

a cherry and curly maple dining room

a custom studio style dining room

Recycled Chestnut Cabinetry Dresses up a Formal Fireplace

Bookending a stone fireplace with recycled chestnut cabinetry

some claro walnut tables

a post about two tables and 8 chairs we delivered to long island last week

an expanding cherry dining table

finished and process photos of a round cherry dining table with leaves.

another banjo ... #4

a post about building a half fretless open back banjo

Using Steel Accents on a Walnut Desk

Steel accents make for one fishy walnut desk.

repairing antiques ... an appreciation

a post about restoring an aaron willard clock

a walnut slab bed

photos of a walnut slab headboard bed

a pretty good mitered frame gluing jig

photos and a link to instructions for building a jig for gluing up mitered frames

the16 foot kitchen island

building a large 4' x 16' kitchen island

Industrial Shaker

a post about continuity in design and updates to a style

MDF Is ......

a short discussion of mdf in the fine furniture workshop

Drilling Holes on the Lathe

making turnings longer than your lathe

A Mini Banjo

a post about the construction of a mini (8" pot) banjo

A Really Big Kitchen Island

Photos and drawings of the construction of a 16' kitchen island

Slide Shows

a post about quickly creating high quality, many photo, full screen slide shows on the web

Getting Your Story Out There: Libraries, Histories and Shop Tours

Thoughts on business, history and blogging

The Finished Pair of Half Round Tables

A pair of half round tables, start to finish with photos and brief descriptions

Another Claro Walnut Slab Table

One in our series of metal base, slab top tables

A Pair of Half Round Tables

process photos of two half round tables under construction

Two Oval Dining Tables

pictures and processes for two oval dining tables, one in elm, one in walnut

The Really Big Tables ... 26' x 9' and 20' x 8'

the story of two big conference tables, start to finish

A Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers Show

A summer show by about 20 members of the Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers in Burlington, Vermont

A Table With Self Storing Leaves

A trestle table with pull out leaves

Two Truly Big Tables

A series of posts about two rather large conference tables we're working on ... one 26' x 9' and one 20' x 8'

State of Craft ... Exploring the Studio Craft Movement in Vermont 1960-2010

The Bennington Museum has mounted a fantastic new show if 50 years of craft in Vermont. Opened 5/22, runs through 10/31

"Out Of The Woods" ... 11 New England Furniture Makers

A post about a show of 11 New England furniture makers opening this Saturday at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont.

Building Furniture with Metal Inlays

Adding metal inlays to a wooden headboard adds a unique touch.

Dorset Custom Furniture

Photos of the Dorset Custom Furniture workshop in Dorset, Vermont

Three New Projects

Two project posts,a 6' expanding mahogany table we finished and delivered and a 10' claro walnut slab dining table in process.

Building A Curly Maple Jewelry Cabinet

A dressing table / jewelry storage cabinet

An Art Deco Style Bar Cabinet

A lit, walnut, mirror and steel bar cabinet

A Thank You To Taunton Press and Fine Woodworking

A brief thanks to the publishers, editors and staff of Taunton Press magazines

Cremation Urns, and Other Funerary Objects

Two posts about life and death woodworking

Fine Curved Front Drawers Without Dovetails

a post regarding doweled curved front drawers

Building a Banjo .... Start to fiinish

A series of photos of a recently completed banjo project with links to ALL the steps in the process

A Claro Walnut Slab Table

A claro walnut slab table on a custom fabricated metal base

Building a Banjo

photos of jigs and processes for building a banjo

A Recycled Chestnut DIning Table

Photos of a carved leg recycled chestnut dining table

A walnut Paneled Room

Photos of a roomful of paneling we are currently installing in Weston, Vermont.

Building a Sailboat Mast

Over the last two weekends, I helped my brother in law make a mast for his Barnegat Bay Sneakbox, a beautiful little wooden boat, built in 1922, in Barnegat, NJ. The original mast is in fine shape as...

A Tansu Style Stair Project

We recently completed this project for a client in California.  I have posted 3 entries on my dorset custom furntiure blog with more photos, design background info, and process photos for this...

A Desk in the Sir Edwin Lutyens Style

We have recently completed the desk above and I have posted numeroous progress photos and process descriptions to my dorset custom furniture blog at...

An Art Deco Style Cabinet

This is a piece we recently completed in the Art Deco Style... Last weekend, it joined a number of other pieces we made last year for the same New York City home ... The whole story, including a...

A Curly Maple Bedside Table

This is a curly maple bedside table we made to complement a bed we completed for the clients a few years ago ... More info on the table and bed and BIGGER pictures on my Dorset Custom Furniture blog...

A Concertina Hinge Game Table

We recently finished this concertina hinge game table.  The project actually started with a question I posted to the Fine Woodworking "Ask the Experts" section, under Gary Rogalski.  I knew...

Two Tapered Case PIeces

We have recently finished two tapered case cherry, bubinga and maple burl pieces.  I have added process photos and construction comments to my blog here ...

Build Your Own Pool Table

I have built a few pool tables over the years, and we’re about to start another one … I have posted some stuff on my blog about the process, and I will update it as we go along...

A Whole Houseful of Stuff

We have been working on furniture and cabinetry for this beautiful house since mid July.  There are more photos and descriptions of the construction processes on my blog at...

A Greene & Greene Style Sideboard

I have made two of these sideboards, inspired by the designs of Greene & Greene.  There are more photos of the process and details of it's construction. including detailed instructions...

Recent comments

Re: Is Digital Manufacturing a Friend or a Foe?

a very interesting and thought provoking blog post. it is a subject that has been kicked around our modern cnc equipped shop here for the last 10 years. i personally have come to the conclusion that the distinction between hand/machine made is a useless provocation .. i think the main point of making anything is the process itself and the results of that process. how we got there is a personal choice, and the results and our pleasure in the process are the defining criteria of success. often i feel the defenders of 'handmade' have not actually experienced the complexity and rewards of using technology to do things that would be more or less impossible to do by hand with normally acquired hand skills. sure, there may be someone somewhere who can do by hand what your are doing with technology, but are you personally gonna be that person? likely not. and what's the point? it takes a really long time to get really good at something. fire up the table saw and you leave the world of 'hand made' in my humble opinion. i think the shakers invented the planer and the table saw and i bet they would be lined up 3 deep at the cnc booths at the woodworking shows if they were still here making their 'handcrafted' furniture. after 35 years of professional high end furniture making, i would say unequivocally that while we made some good stuff 'by hand', most of our 'best' pieces have been made using the marriage and magic of cad and cam, and our pieces still have a 'handmade' look. in fact, one of our shop goals is not to 'perfectly execute' a piece, which can sometimes be the result of 'flawlessly executed' hand work. wabi sabi, please. and that's just our furniture. our son sam uses the cnc for forms and jigs that without it would make his architectural metal work more tedious, complex, less fun, and quite a bit more expensive to boot. and now the other son, will, (seedersinstruments.com) is using the cnc with router bits that measure .015, less than half of a 32nd of an inch, to do stuff i would never have imagined, with accuracy and efficiency that i don't believe many folks anywhere could do by hand. he's now working out the 3d stuff and has rough carved both guitar and banjo necks with our 3 axis multicam. go figure .. if you want it to be, technology is your friend. if you don't want it to be fine, but please keep an open mind, and let's do away with the 'cheating' comments. what are we cheating at?

Re: Walnut Carved Chest of Drawers

way to go david ... i've seen this chest in person and it's a very nice design and is flawlessly executed ... i hope you have good luck with it in the guild show. dan

Re: Casket

i agree you and john. you did a beautiful job. i made caskets for my mother and for my father a few years back. while difficult, it was one of the most 'connecting' things i have done in my 40 year woodworking career. i've also made several urns for ashes for friends and their families, and i always think of it as an honor and a privilege. it is, as john says, therapuetic' and gives one a real pause, a consideration, and a closure. i'm sorry for the loss of your friend, though you did well by him ... dan

Re: another banjo ... #4

yo urge2surge ... if you go to my dcf blog post and scroll to the bottom you'll find a link to banjo#1. if you click on that link, you'll go to a post where there are three other links of the banjo in process. it's not really 'step by step' but i think all the steps are actually there. check it out.

Re: Drilling Holes on the Lathe

hmmm ... they are out there .. try woodcraft or woodworkers supply ... dan

Re: A Mini Banjo

hello everyone ..regarding PORC's question about the hardware, while we do get a lot of stuff from stew-mac, this particular brass hardware, which Will antiqued himself, came from bill rickard banjos in ontario canada ... beautiful stuff … here's a link to his website ... it might be best to give him a call... http://www.banjo-workshop.com/index.htm

to see more of will’s furniture work, click this link and scroll down … all for now … dan

-- dan,vermont,http://dorsetcustomfurniture.blogspot.com/

Re: Buffet in Tasmanian Blackwood

hi mark ... happy new year and nice piece ! i was going to write and ask where you got the blackwood and then i read your profile and see that you are in australia .. that explains it ... looks like beautiful wood ..

Re: Can Brian Boggs change the world for pro furnituremakers?

Hi Brian ... i just read this post and click through to a couple of the links ... i would be interested in talking with you about your project. i have been making furniture professionally for over 30 years and currently run a five man shop in southwestern vermont. i really like your six goals and they are very similar to ones that have allowed me to do the work i have gotten to do over the years ... you can contact me through my website
if you're interested .. good luck .. dan mosheim

Re: Side Table

Very nice Richard .... hats off to you ...

Re: Dorset Custom Furniture

the virus issue was something only a very few people encountered, and it has been corrected now. there was never any danger to your ocmputer ... sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for the heads up ...dan

Re: Three New Projects

not to worry BStev ... but i do ABSOLUTELY not recommend trying this unless you feel 110% safe about your skill with a chainsaw. I know in my blog post there was a caveat to 'not try this at home' ...

FYI, chain saw kick back occurs when the tip of the bar is in contact with the wood. See info at this link on chain saw safety.


my technique is, imho, probably most similar in controversy generating potential to sam maloof's bandsaw techniques ... NOT for everyone. as I mentioned in my DCF blog post, I bought my first chainsaw in 1973. I have worked in the woods as a professional logger, and I cut, split and hauled 4 or 5 cords of wood a year to heat my last house for 23 years ... long and short of it, chainsaws are my friend and, in heaven, all chainsaw chains are brand new ...

Re: Photograph your mock-ups for a better view

This is very cool ... i have come close to using this technique, and we do a lot of stuff with photoshop and mockups, but for me the missing piece that you have included is taking a photo of the empty space ...
Here's one of ours using models in a modeled room mockup


Re: Dovetailed drawers are overrated

Since that's my desk at the top of this post, I think I ought to maybe say something here. What, I'm not sure ....Here goes ... I wrote the post on the curved front drawers on my blog two years ago and it was a result of trying to make dovetails on curved drawer fronts. Not easy,imho, not worth it. Mark Granfors and I came up with the pegged solution described in the post. It's appropriate for that instance, not appropriate for all instances. The trick is knowing where and when to use each technique that you have taken the time to figure out. We can cut dovetails ... some of us in our sleep ... See this post ...


and sometimes a nailed rabbet on commercial slides is the winner. Use them all. Don't judge. As the man said in 1692 ... 'Be careful...Strive to be happy'
Happy Thanksgiving ... Thanks for all your interesting comments. Dialogues and stories keep us engaged ....

Re: Blue Ulysses Sideboard

sweet piece craig ... beautiful design, excellent choice of materials and first rate execution ... I particularly like the detail you added at the bottom of the leg. It pulls it all together .... gold star for you ... dan

Re: A Claro Walnut Slab Table

Thanks everyone for your comments ... I'm glad you like the metal base. It was great working with my older son on that. It is pretty heavy but, although we delivered the base in one piece, the 1.5" steel round and the 1/4" flatstock top connector unbolt from the two 'trestles'so you can take it apart if you want to. I'd guess the base weighs about 150 and the top another 75 or so pounds ... It was a fun project start to finish. We're working on a coffee table with a similar slab top now.

Re: Oily rags blamed for fire that damaged Oregon home

Hi Tom ... This happened to one of my clients recently. He lost a good part of his house and we're still cleaning the smoke damaged stuff that didn't burn up completely. i have some good tips on that if anyone's interested ...Here's a link below to my post about it ...


Re: Building a Banjo

To bore the holes on the Multirouter, (you could make the same set up for a drill press),we used a .25" router bit that had been commercially sharpened a few times so that the hole it made was less than .25, and about the perfect size for the tensioning hardware. I think we had to redrill the holes slightly larger after boring them on the multirouter so that the fit of the bolts was tight, but not too tight.

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